Monday, July 13, 2009

This is My Father's World

by Deanna Matzen

This is my Father's world, and to my list'ning ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father's world! I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas - His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world - the birds their carols raise; the morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise. This is my Father's world! He shines in all that's fair; in the rustling grass I hear Him pass - He speaks to me ev'rywhere.

This is my Father's world - Oh let me not forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father's world! Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is king, let the heavens ring; God reigns let the earth be glad!

This song rang through my head this morning as I was getting ready for work. I could only recall a few words, so when that happens, I love to pull out the hymnal and play the song in its full glory and verse on the piano. Then I pull out a wonderful book that my husband's grandmother gave us the Christmas before she passed away. The book is called, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions by Kenneth Osbeck. I always find the stories very interesting and I wanted to share with you the story of "This is My Father's World" and Osbeck's reflections.

"Even though we are constantly reminded of the violence, tragedy, and ugliness in today's world, we can still rejoice that the beauty of nature all around is ours to enjoy. Who can deny the pleasure that comes from the sight of a glowing sunset or a majestic mountain, the sound of chirping birds or the roar of the surf, and the smell of new mown hay or roses or lilies.

"Maltbie D. Babcock revealed his great admiration for nature in this lovely hymn text. Although he was recognized as one of the outstanding Presbyterian ministers of his generation, Dr. Babock was also a skilled athlete who enjoyed all outdoor activity, especially his early morning walks. He would always comment, 'I'm going out to see my Father's world.' Since Dr. Babcock was an accomplished performer on the organ, the piano, and the violin, we can see why nature seemed to him to be 'the music of the spheres.' In addition to being a tribute to nature, however, the hymn is a triumphant assertion of the unfailing power of God.

"As we follow Dr. Bacock's example and give praise to God for all the beauty of His world, we cannot help being concerned that much of the loveliness is being destroyed by human carelessness and greed. The real answer to our ecological problems must be a renewed appreciation of earth as 'our Father's world' and a greater commitment to taking proper care of it. Christians should be models of this concern."
-Kenneth W. Osbeck
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

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